We imbue money with all sorts of qualities it doesn’t possess. I could write hundreds and hundreds of thoughts about money which I’ve had myself over the years and which I’ve listened to my clients tell me as their accountant and their business mentor and wealth coach. Most of them are utter balderdash, mine included.
Here’s just five helpful thoughts about money I have at the top of my list today:
1. For as long as I live, I will never understand how you spend your money. And you will never understand how I choose to spend mine.
- Why do people who are going bankrupt hang onto luxury motorcars long after it makes sense?
- Why do we pay over the odds for what we consider to be luxury brands?
- Why is a Sony laptop more expensive than a Dell, and an Apple more desirable still?
- Why do some want to save money buying things as inexpensively as possible while others wouldn’t thank you for an eBay bargain, preferring to go without entirely?
- Why do I not know or care about the cost of a litre of petrol or a punnet of out-of-season raspberries but I’m too tight to buy anything more on Amazon, preferring to put it on my Wish List instead which feels like shopping but doesn’t cost me any actual, real money?
- Why did my accounting clients pretend they had no money for my fees when they were taking their entire family on ski-ing holidays, paying private school fees and buying luxury food products from the local deli?
We are all full of contradictions when it comes to our spending patterns and biases. Do you examine yours? That’s where I would recommend we all start, by examining our financial choices and recognising that whether you know it or not, you are making choices with each purchase you make – or don’t. We often buy what we desire in preference to what we need. And the things we really, really love will never seem expensive to us because we will always find a way to afford them.
2. No-one cares about your money as much as you do. Not the banks who are advertising themselves as “on your side” profusely all over the telly right now (as if!), and not the financial services industry who have so significantly failed us all. So if you don’t have a pension, or more especially if you do, get a SIPP or a SSAS and take control of your own financial future yourself.
3. Pricing yourself and your products and services is a matter of self-esteem. The higher you value yourself, your experience and your skills, the more you will feel able to charge. The only other way I know to ramp up your charges is to get very good at what you do and at marketing yourself so that you are “full up”. You couldn’t squeeze another drop of work into your schedule even if your life depended on it so your only way to manage your work-flow is to put your prices up. And guess what? They still pay! And why’s that? Because you were undercharging to begin with, because you under value yourself and you are not yet confident of the market you command.
4. Investments really do go down as well as up. We mustn’t risk anything we cannot afford to lose or enter anything which would cause us to be confused, impatient or fearful, or which provokes sleepless nights. At the same time, please know that any savings you do have in the bank is losing the battle against inflation and thus dropping in value as you read this. So your only real answer is to get to grip with investing and learn to take the rough with the smooth. Start cautiously and don’t expect to win every single one, but get some skin in the game.
5. Don’t keep flogging a dead horse. These are fast moving times. If your market is reducing due to technological advances and people are not buying your product or service any more, switch. See the writing on the wall and find another business opportunity. Look what’s happening to books, publishing, the postal service, TV, films, music and more. We want it digital now or we don’t want it at all. If you are still in old tech and there’s no retro market for it, you are on a losing wicket and behind the beat. It’s time to reinvent your offering.
6. Bonus tip! Don’t buy into global doom and gloom. Do what you have to in order to create your own personal micro economy. Drop the recession mindset. There are ways to make money in every economy; all you have to do is find yours. Never give up.